Tag Archives: Melisandre

Casual Thoughts: Melisandre’s Best Kept Secret

Another day, another casual video. This too cannibalizes my future essays to try and create a new and meaningful conversation.

This time, I want to talk about Melisandre and one of her lesser known (or at least lesser-discussed) powers: She’s a master of bird law.

One small addendum that I want to add, is that Jon also receives a letter from Ramsay ‘directly’ in Jon’s sixth point-of-view chapter. Its the wedding invitation that he opens after fighting RattleMance in the training yard. Previously I had always assumed that Mance simply overheard the letters contents (the wedding to Arya in Barrowton) and thus that’s when Mance and Melisandre decided to start the ‘wedding rescue plot’.

That still makes a ton of sense to me, because Abel first joined Bolton’s group of followers near Barrowton. Furthermore, there is a brief moment where Theon hear’s music coming from a nearby inn while riding with Roose Bolton (“They rode past a stable and a shuttered inn with a wheat sheaf painted on its sign. Reek heard music coming through its windows.” — REEK III, ADWD).

So it’s entirely plausible that Mance first rode to Barrowton, per the clues from Jon’s original wedding invitation. This could simply be because of, as I said, Mance overhearing the wedding details from Jon in the training yard. This does not necessarily change the fact that Stannis could have been also instructing Melisandre and Mance to start a rescue at Winterfell separately from that wedding invitation.

While I’ve got ideas for my next video, I’d be curious to see if this one creates a few questions that might drive me to record a different video first.

Casual Thoughts: Mance Rayder

I’ve been stuck for a while on some essays. So I decided to start some casual videos to explore some related topics. Here is the first, its about Mance’s ‘true’ mission. This retreads some ground from an earlier essay, but I think this format might reach or more effectively communicate some of those earlier ideas.

This video is hopefully the first of several to tackle small ideas about the north. Hope you like it.

You Want to be …Fooled

I want to write a fun, explorative piece: more idea-fuel and moderate insights than it is ‘epic theory’—an essay full of rhetorical sleight-of-hand that reads like a series of magic tricks and less like rote historiography. So here’s an attempt.

  • ?
  • What would it take for you to distrust any prediction a character makes?

Obviously a mistaken interpretation or two will hurt someone’s belief. But what about an admission that they’re just guessing in the first place, something like this:

“Some may.” Could the skulls in her vision have signified this bridge? Somehow Melisandre did not think so. “If it comes, that attack will be no more than a diversion. I saw towers by the sea, submerged beneath a black and bloody tide. That is where the heaviest blow will fall.”

“Eastwatch?”

Was it? Melisandre had seen Eastwatch-by-the-Sea with King Stannis. That was where His Grace left Queen Selyse and their daughter Shireen when he assembled his knights for the march to Castle Black. The towers in her fire had been different, but that was oft the way with visions. “Yes. Eastwatch, my lord.”
MELISANDRE, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

In our haste to zip through Melisandre’s chapter and find the juicy details, we seem to have overlooked what I now think is perhaps the choicest morsel of all. Why?

It means that Melisandre often interprets her visions as applying to things other than literally what she sees.

This is hardly surprising though—we all know she makes mistakes. Even she admits it. But on the other hand, there’s really only one way to broadly interpret Melisandre’s statement:

Visions often show one thing, but are in truth about another.

If this is the case, then when Melisandre wrongly interprets a specific detail in a vision, she’s not only making mistakes, she is almost certainly misleading readers who trust her words or thoughts.

I know it sounds ridiculous: that her own thoughts would fool us. After all, if she saw Jon… she saw Jon. Why would the text in her own POV mislead us, the readers who are free from the supposed perils of bias that afflict the characters?

The assumption about what Melisandre sees being precisely what she thinks (or more accurately being what is on the page) is ignoring that we are reading words set out by an author who has no strict obligation to give us full, accurate information at all times. There have been several occasions where a character’s thoughts seem to omit details that readers could benefit from and have no real reason not to exist. Tyrion’s chain, Victarion’s ‘surgery’, and more, are all examples of when Martin’s words have deftly avoided the ‘whole truth’ in favor of a more compelling story. And as noted, Melisandre herself admitted that her visions may not apply to the exact objects, places or people she envisions… so even if you disagree and think her thoughts aren’t erroneous and that she actually saw Jon, the vision could still instead apply to someone else—by her own admission!

Anyways, It’s one thing to say this, its another to show you just how misleading a bad prediction can be. Like me, you almost certainly never realized that Melisandre’s first bad vision in A Dance with Dragons happens in Jon’s first chapter.

  • ?
  • Ready for a magic trick?

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The False Sword Lightbringer

…the sword is wrong, and the false light can only lead us deeper into darkness, Sam.
MAESTER AEMON — A FEAST FOR CROWS

This post is aimed squarely at people who want a thorough examination of Stannis’s sword, purportedly the fabled weapon Lightbringer. I suspect that will likely be first time readers who want some information or clarification.

Note: I’m pretty sure this will be familiar territory for a lot of ardent fans.

The key point I’m making here is this:

Stannis has a false Lightbringer.

More importantly, Melisandre deliberately lied about the sword he has.

This may seem to be a plain observation to some. However, I think it is wise to establish a thorough refutation of Stannis’s sword, as a reference for use in future discussions.

Additionally, I believe that a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding this false sword allows us to make the following claims as well:

It proves that Melisandre indeed relies on the ‘tricks of alchemists and pyromancers’.

We may have been blind to how she has used her other mundane tricks.

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The Sea of Shadow: A Map to Dead Kings

“Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present,
between the mists of memory and
the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.
BLOODRAVEN — BRAN III, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

Would you believe me I told you there was a series of ‘easter eggs’ concealed within A Song of Ice and Fire?

Specifically, would you believe that there are references to other scenes and places secretly placed in passages mentioning shadows?

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I Dream of Ramsay Snow

I would like to regale you with an absurdity. And yet, an absurdity that makes a profound amount of sense.

Jon Snow’s dreams are cryptic visions of events that actually happen to Ramsay Bolton.

Futher, Melisandre’s central prediction about Jon’s death could actually have been about Ramsay.

Can I prove it? Depressingly, no. Can I at least provide an interesting read? I certainly hope so. I hope that some of the things I share herein cause your brain juices to flow. There is certainly something eerie between Jon’s dreams and Ramsay Bolton. Continue reading